Super Lovers – Preview
Original Air Dates: April 6th, 2016 – ???
Synopsis: Kaido Haru hasn’t seen his birth mother in years since he moved to Japan with his father and step mother. But when he comes to visit her at her home in Canada, it turns out to be for an entirely different purpose other than a family visit. He finds that his mother has adopted a boy, Ren, who was mistreated at the local orphanage. Due to his mistreatment, Ren is kind of feral compared to most boys his age, and obstinate to boot. Haru works on getting Ren to come out of his shell and bond as brothers.
1st Episode Review (Warning: Some Spoilers to Follow):
Tom: Alright let’s get this out of the way right from the start: The title is indeed SUPER sketchy. Coupled with the promotional image, one can’t help but think they’re in for a trip down pedo lane. But, if we ignore any added implications the title might suggest, Super Lovers (god that title) never actually strays into questionable and uncomfortable territory. Instead, assuming you can ignore any subtext implied by the title, it delivers what’s actually a pretty tame, yet heartwarming story of two people bonding as siblings. I’m someone who believes Japanese content should be localized as little as possible, kept true to its origins, but Super Lovers (god that title) is the exception for me: The title really needed to be altered to better fit with an American audience. That said, there’s already, I’m sure, a small sect of people willing to look past the creepy implications of Super Lovers’ (god that title) title and appreciate it for what it is. Doesn’t change the fact they should’ve changed the title though.
Linny: There’s no getting past the controversial title and promo images and the fact that yes, this comes from a manga that was aimed at yaoi lovers. However, due to it getting an animation, I’m almost certain that the show is going to keep it tame and focus on the emotional bonds and drama that arise from these people coming together as a family after tragic events. From what we saw in the premiere episode, it’s clear that if the show had managed to have a less controversial promotion and title, it could have still managed to sell itself as a family drama. There’s absolutely nothing sexually scandalous in it besides two siblings meeting each other and trying to bond and establish a brotherly relationship.
Tom: The story is pretty fluffy and feel good, with hints of greater drama now and then. You’re basically watching a young man find out he’s got a new adoptive brother and trying to make the boy feel welcome in this screwed up cross continental family. Haru is actually a pretty nice guy, and my biggest fear would be seeing him grooming Ren to become his ‘lover’ as Ren aged. But Haru doesn’t do anything of the sort, treating Ren like anyone would when they gain a new, kid brother. Despite this, with the implications of the title lingering in your mind it’s easy to misread many of Haru’s, otherwise innocent actions, as having a creepy subtext. It’s really unfortunate that the title adds such a tinge to an otherwise innocent story.
Linny: What adds to the sense of foreboding and discomfort is the abundance of sparkles and floral transitions in the credits and the episode itself. Such effects are so strongly associated with romantic pretty boys stories that most viewers are sure to be turned off fearing that they are headed down a path that feels extra unsettling thanks to the Ren’s young age. If one can get past those, the characters themselves are pretty innocent, and even generic. You have the kind and doting older brother who comes off as a generally nice guy. Then you get the anime standard eccentric, super successful, divorced mother who seems more engrossed in her novels than her family, even gets upset when her son addresses her as mother.
Tom: Ren himself is pretty likable, although that’s primarily due to his horrible past at the orphanage and even just the fact that he was found abandoned in the first place. The story takes a huge twist just after the ending credits that sets up exactly where the rest of this series will be going, so if you decide to give Super Lovers (god that title) a try be sure to stick around after the credits finish rolling. I actually found that sudden shock a big highlight of my enjoyment for the show.
Linny: The men in the show and credits clearly bear the looks of a yaoi/bishonen cast, all sparkly, tall and long limbed. Also I cannot stress enough the abundance of bubbles and flowers and sparkles. And the fact that for some strange reason, while his mother looks adequately aged, his father and stepmother look to be the same age as Haru himself.
Tom: The animation and style of Super Lovers (god that title) should appeal to the romance, shoujo, and shonen ai crowd, with its dreamy male characters and cute faces. Super Lovers (god that title) feels like a dramedy much of the time, keeping things light and fun, quickly able to change between serious and comedic (save for the really tragic places it likes to go on occasion).
Linny: Despite our greatest fears, Super Lovers proved to be nowhere as scandalous as originally assumed. Yes, there is an instance where Haru gives Ren a kiss on the lips, but it’s clearly shown to be innocent and familial, nothing that would make the puritans faint. However, the manga source does lead into homosexual relationships (after both characters are at the age of consent), and for those that dislike even that notion, it’s best to stay away.
Tom: Super Lovers (god that title) is based off a manga that does, as Linny said, see Haru and Ren getting together (when they’re older and Ren is, thankfully, of age.) but it’s unclear if this anime will reach those pages of the manga before the end of its meager ten episode run. For now, it’s safe enough for most anyone a fan of Drama can enjoy, but once we hit the time skip, and Haru and Ren do start to fall in love, it’s bound to become a bit more niche.
Super Lovers is available for streaming via Crunchyroll.com